italian meatballs recipe photo

Best Italian Meatball Recipe (Gluten-Free and Good)

This Italian meatball recipe was actually an accident. Here is how that happened.

My husband purchased some Wellshire Farms Pork Maple sausage instead of the turkey sausage I usually buy. So when I decided to make some meatballs, I noticed the pork sausage and thought, “Why don’t I use these for the meatball recipe?” The result was amazing! Once the meatballs came out of the oven, my husband and I stood there and ate almost all of the meatballs before they made it to the dinner table.

Try the Italian meatball recipe with ground sirloin.

I decided to use fresh ground sirloin instead of regular ground beef. The butcher ground the sirloin steak for me fresh. What a difference! Something about those choices created the magic.

grass-fed sirloin for Italian Meatball recipe photo
Pick out the best sirloin steak and ask the butcher to grind it fresh for you.

Choose grass-fed beef for its nutritional benefits.

Many people ask about the difference between grass-fed beef and traditional grain-fed beef. What the cow eats makes a difference among the nutrient profile. The natural diet of the cow is grass! The cow should also have access to plenty of pasture and sunshine for optimal health and growth. This is not what happens with grain-fed cows and this makes a significant nutrient difference between the two types of ground beef.

  • Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef
  • It’s higher in a fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which benefits your immune system and is considered an anti-inflammatory fatty acid.
  • Grass-fed beef may contain up to five times more Omega-3 fats.
  • It’s higher in vitamin A and vitamin E than grain-fed beef.
  • Grass-fed beef may be easily overcooked and become tough, so keep an eye on the cooking time.

Use this Italian meatball recipe when you’re looking for snacks or appetizers, mix with tomato sauce as a topping for pasta (try gluten-free brown rice pasta) or spaghetti squash, or put in a sandwich (I’m from the East Coast and there it’s called a “meatball grinder” in my old neighborhood).

If you choose to make it with a spaghetti squash meal, check out the Tex-Mex Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe for instructions on how to cook spaghetti squash.

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Italian Meatball Recipe (Gluten-Free)

These amazing meatballs may not make it to the dinner table since they are so delicious right out of the oven!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian meatball
Servings: 21 meatballs


  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs Ian's Gluten-Free Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/3 cup organic half and half or milk water or broth may be used for a non-dairy option
  • 1 tsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion chopped finely
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground sirloin or ground beef
  • 2 pork and maple breakfast sausages Wellshire Farms
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed (Dorot frozen garlic)
  • 1 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning Simply Organic Italian Dressing Mix
  • 2 tbsp Romano cheese grated (nutritional yeast may be used for a non-dairy option)
  • 1 tsp butter or ghee for greasing the baking dish


  • Soak bread crumbs in half and half (or broth) in a small bowl for 15 minutes.
  • Bake the two pork sausage links in the toaster (or regular) oven for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees. When done, chop into fine pieces and set aside.
  • Prepare a large baking dish or baking sheet. Grease with butter or ghee. (I prefer using a baking dish since the meatballs will release some fats. You can also use a baking sheet with edges and line it with parchment paper.)
  • While the sausage is baking and the bread crumbs are soaking, sprinkle onions with a pinch of salt and sauté in 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for another minute or two.
  • Mix ground sirloin and pork sausage pieces together in a large bowl. Add the soaked bread crumbs. In a separate small bowl, mix the eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and Romano cheese. Add this to the meat mixture. Refrigerate for about one hour.
  • Use a teaspoon of butter or ghee and grease the baking dish.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When the mixture has been refrigerated for an hour, using wet hands and a tablespoon, form meatballs that are about 1 and 1/2 inched in diameter (use a heaping tablespoon for each meatball). Arrange on the prepared baking dish or baking sheet. This should make 21 meatballs.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned around the edges.
  1. Donny Ward says:

    This was a great recipe. The meatballs were juicy and very flavorful. Manga!

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